Whether you realize it or not, you read copy every time you shop online. Product descriptions, the text on the homepage, even the “about page” of a website are all examples of copy. In ecommerce, copywriting is extremely important. Customers can’t touch or hold your products and they certainly can’t try on an article of clothing to see how it fits. They’re relying on you to describe the item and its benefits in such good detail that they feel comfortable buying (note: great photos are also part of this equation).
Effective copy is what gets someone to enter their credit card number and hit “complete purchase.”
And you don’t have to be a professional copywriter to know if the copy is effective. While there are some intricacies to copywriting, which we’ll get into, effective copywriting makes you want to purchase something. Ineffective copy makes you feel indifferent toward an item or, in a worst case scenario, it turns you off from buying altogether.
What Ecommerce Copywriting Does
Effective copywriting, ecommerce or otherwise, does a few things:
- It appeals to your target audience
- It informs customers
- It defines your brand and sets the tone
- It ultimately drives sales and increases your revenue
Let’s take a closer look at each of these points and discuss how you can write copy that checks all of these boxes.
Appealing to Your Target Audience with Copywriting
It should go without saying, but the tone you take with your copywriting should appeal to your target audience. If your copy doesn’t appeal to your target audience, you can’t expect them to shop with you.
If you’re not sure who your target audience is, think about who would buy your products. People that are into fitness? Home chefs? Recent college graduates? When you can identify who will purchase your product, you can start to write copy that will appeal to them. (Knowing your target audience also helps you understand which keywords you need to use to be found in search engine results!)
You can do some research to find out what appeals to your core audience by looking at your competitors and even looking at forums your target demo hangs out on. Start with sites like Quora and Reddit. Do a search for your product (“wooden spatulas,” for example) and see what people are talking about and how they’re talking. This, along with your own vision for your brand, will shape the tone of your copy and your brand’s voice.
Product Description Copywriting to Inform Your Customers
At the root of it all, copywriting is meant to inform and persuade. Since customers can’t handle your products before purchasing, you’ll need to tell them everything about it in your product descriptions.
A lot of people think product description copywriting simply lists the product’s attributes or simply talks about how great their products are. Neither of these approaches are good. You need to tell customers how your product is going to solve their problems and why they should make the purchase.
Which of these product descriptions would entice you to buy a new wooden spatula?
Made in the USA
This is our 2.0 bamboo spatula. We made improvements on our last model to make cooking more enjoyable. You’re going to love it. This is a must-have for every kitchen.
If you’re tired of plastic spatulas that melt, bamboo is for you! Bamboo is an eco-friendly material, making our bamboo spatula perfect for the eco-conscious home chef. You’ll love flipping burgers, pancakes, or making stir-fry with this bad boy. In addition to looking beautiful and being environmentally friendly, it is made in the USA and dishwasher safe.
If you’re like most people, the third product description is the most appealing. The first and second ones don’t actually say anything about the product outside of its basic attributes. The third description talks about the problem it solves (melting plastic spatulas), explains that bamboo is eco-friendly and beautiful, and allows customers to envision using it to cook different dishes.
Think about the story you can tell while informing readers. Product description copywriting shouldn’t only be bulleted lists of product attributes. Descriptions should focus on the benefits of owning your product instead of just the features. Make people understand how this item will solve a problem or scratch an itch. When they understand what they’ll get out of the product, they’re infinitely more likely to purchase.
A few more tips to do better product description copywriting:
- Use adjectives (descriptive words) sparingly. This seems counterintuitive but a lot of adjectives don’t tell people anything about your product. They’re fluff. Words like “fashionable”, “innovative”, and “cool” don’t actually say a lot. When you do use adjectives, really make them count.
- Add more verbs. Action words help ensure you’re addressing your customer’s needs by telling them what they can do with the product. “You’ll love flipping burgers…” in the example above uses a verb to help customers imagine all the things they can cook with a new spatula.
- Use “power words.” Power words aren’t used in everyday speech very often so when they’re used in copy, they tend to evoke strong feelings in your readers. Words like “skyrocket”, “thrilling”, and “smashing” make your copy more compelling and generate more emotion than more commonly used words.
Ecommerce Copywriting Defines Your Brand
The copy on your site defines your brand and sets the tone. Unlike a brick and mortar store that can set the tone with lighting, muzak, and product displays, ecommerce sites have to rely, partially, on their copy to set the mood. This goes beyond product descriptions, which is what most people think of when they hear “ecommerce copywriting.” Your homepage, about pages, and even your FAQ page(s) are part of the copywriting puzzle.
Take a look at the “About” page for The Unemployed Philosophers Guild. This shop sells various items (everything from t-shirts to mugs to hand puppets) with the likenesses of famous artists, writers, and pop culture figures. Their “About” page does a great job of giving you an idea of their company before you look at a single product:
It’s fun, funny, and doesn’t take itself too seriously…just like their products! They told their story in a way that is in line with their brand and is a delight to read. Think about how you take your business’s tone beyond product descriptions and tell your story in an on-brand way.
One thing to remember when writing copy on your site: make sure your tone is consistent throughout. This helps ensure brand consistency and legitimizes your business in the eyes of customers.
Driving Sales with Your Ecommerce Copywriting
I know you’re thinking, “this is all great, but how does it help increase sales?”
Everything we’ve discussed works together to drive sales. As we discussed, your customers rely on your photos and your copy to learn about your products and your business. Without good copy, you’re robbing customers of the ability to learn more about you (and you’re robbing yourself of potential sales).
In addition to being well-written and compelling, your copy should also be optimized for search engines so customers find you in search engines. Your copy does a lot for your business so taking the time to create great copy for your ecommerce site will pay for itself several times over.
Boost Your Conversions With Professional Ecommerce Copywriting from TheeCommerce!
At TheeCommerce, our copywriters are skilled in the art of writing compelling, SEO copy that fits your brand’s tone and vision. Let us run a free website audit for your online store and discover exactly how we can improve your copy to boost visibility and sales. Reach out to us today at 919-336-1790 or fill out our contact form to get started!